Cari Taylor-Carlson

Sheridan’s Is a Nice Place to Relax

Pretty good food, nice atmosphere and maybe the ghost of Dan Quayle.

By - Jun 21st, 2017 06:14 pm
Sheridan's patio. Photo by Cari Taylor-Carlson.

Sheridan’s patio. Photo by Cari Taylor-Carlson.

We arrived at Sheridan’s about five minutes after a group of ten, which meant a long wait for our food. We didn’t care. It was a gorgeous day on the patio. A breeze kept us cool in the sun, while flowers in several planters surrounded us, creating a relaxed vibe to remind us how nice it is to sit and do nothing.

I reminisced with my companion about the night Dan Quayle and his wife Marilyn arrived with his entourage at the Fountain Blue Restaurant, the former tenant in this corner building. We knew something was up when six men in dark suits strolled into the jeans-casual dining room. On a return visit, I noticed the owners of Fountain Blue had followed up with a plaque next to the booth where the couple ate that read, “Dan Quayle sat here.”

The restaurant has been totally transformed, yet the outside of the building still looks the same. The Quayle booth is long gone, along with every hint of that former Polish restaurant. Now it’s art nouveau elegant, black and cream, with marble tables, a cream city brick wall, large mirrors, and arty iron work around the fireplace. Only the original tin ceiling remains.

To get to the patio for lunch, we walked past the counter where they display house-made desserts, Flourless Chocolate Cake, Lavender Cookies, Macaroons, Truffles, and the irresistible Ruth’s Cheese Torte. I ended my meal with that torte. It’s rich, immediately apparent when I bit into the buttery graham cracker crust, the best part of the torte, which is not to demean the filling, but the crust elevated it to memorable. However, the description read, “Drizzled with caramel.” I don’t call three small dots, drizzle. I wanted MORE.

The same issue came up with my lunch entrée, Pulled Pork Benedict, a polenta cake, pulled pork, and poached eggs, topped with roasted pepper hollandaise. I’m sure I would have loved the hollandaise had there been enough to give me half a teaspoon full so I could isolate the flavor. The tiny bite I scraped off the egg was delicious, but like the “caramel drizzle,” I wanted MORE. It did add color to the dish.

Polenta made an ideal base for the pulled pork. The pork, spicy, crisp, chewy, tasted much like Mexican carnitas, with plenty of salt and heat to max the flavor of the pork.

I gushed about poached egg number one, perfectly done, runny yolk, firm white. Number two was a different story, which reminded me to always ask the server to please request a firm, not gooey white.

Like the crust on Ruth’s Cheese Torte, the accompanying salty hash browns, enough salt, but not too much, oozed with butter. They made up for the scant hollandaise and the runny white. One bite and all was forgiven. For an additional $.50, I had my choice of toast, including cranberry walnut, an herb baguette, or a biscuit. I knew I should have chosen the biscuit when I saw two fat ones on a plate at a nearby table.

Since I was so enamored with the pulled pork, I need to mention another entrée, Pulled Pork & Potato Hash with shallots, mushrooms, spinach, fingerling potatoes, and a poached egg.

A foamy latte. Photo by Cari Taylor-Carlson.

A foamy latte. Photo by Cari Taylor-Carlson.

Initially, I also had a hard time deciding between the Pulled Pork Benedict entrée and the House Naan, because the menu description read like something totally removed from my usual brunch orbit. It had lemon mascarpone cheese, ham, fresh spinach, and arugula, topped with lemon poppy seed dressing and a fried egg. Was it sweet or savory? I’ll have to come back to find out.

The Chicken Bacon Ranch was grilled chicken breast, Wisconsin Cheddar, bacon, and house ranch on a toasted bun; if that sounds like a mouthful, it was. It lived up to our expectations. Enough of everything, but not too much, meant my companion could open wide and get a taste of all of the above in one bite. On balance, we were pretty happy with our meals, and the atmosphere here is certainly lovely.

From the bar, Sheridan’s offers a long list of Signature Cocktails, a very long list considering they stopped serving dinner a year ago. Red, white, and sparkling wines can be ordered by the glass, as well as the Signature Cocktail, the Avalon (co-owner Lee Barczak also owns the Avalon Theater): espresso, butterscotch liqueur, caramel vodka, and steamed milk. Next time I will forgo Ruth’s Torte, swap it out for the Avalon, and call that my dessert.

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  • UM Rating: stars (average of Yelp, Trip Advisor and Zomato)

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